Threats to employee wellbeing continue to intensify well over a year into the pandemic, as evidenced by a 21% rise in burnout and a 17% increase in somatic stress symptoms, a new meQuilibrium study found. The study examined changes in overall wellbeing among 5,474 meQuilibrium members from a broad range of industries representing managers and individual contributors.
“Employee wellbeing continues to be under threat 18 months into the pandemic,” says Brad Smith, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, meQuilibrium. “Our data shows that workers continue to feel the cumulative mental health impacts of the crisis in the form of increased stress symptoms, burnout, and diminished motivation. We need to take action now to protect employee wellbeing before the clock runs out.”
The study also revealed a particularly large burnout risk increase among younger workers of 64%, which was nearly three times the increase for employees over 30 (22%). The increase in burnout symptoms is especially high among managers (+54%), hospitality (+48%), health care (+32%) and finance (30%) industry workers.
When it comes to gender differences, meQuilibrium found that although men and women are experiencing about the same rate of increase in burnout (+24% in women and +25% in men), men’s somatic stress levels are rising at a faster rate than women’s (+9% for men vs +3% for women).
No matter what job title, gender or industry, a key factor in wellbeing risk is employer support. Employees who felt strongly supported by their employers reported the highest levels of wellbeing and were less likely to report turnover intent.